Blood Contamination & Candida Albicans (by DaytonDUI)

Feeling Faint

If a blood sample is not properly preserved it can decompose.  One of the results of decomposition is the creation of alcohol.  According to Lawrence Taylor in his seminal Drunk Driving Defense, 6th Ed., pp. 561, “Ethyl alcohol is generated by fermentation of carbohydrates and proteins in the blood sample.  This occurs through the actions of various microorganisms.  The simplest and one of the most common processes is the breakdown of enzymes by one of various species of the yeast Candida, such as Candida albicans.”  The results of the fermentation in the blood vial is dramatic.  For example, a blood sample which contains no alcohol can decompose and cause a reading of .25 percent or even higher, depending on the stage of decay. (See Taylor, Id. at 561).

Proper handling of the blood sample requires the refrigeration of the blood sample.  The problem is that refrigeration can only slow down the decomposition process not end it completely.  Another protective measure is the addition of a preservative, such as sodium fluoride.  Scientific studies (as cited in Taylor, Id. at 563) suggest that sodium fluoride can be ineffective in preventing alcohol production by Candida albicans.  Counsel should also be aware of common human errors which can occur following collection of the blood sample.  It is not at all uncommon for the blood to be collected and the vial not inverted to allow the mixing of the preservative and the sample.  Make sure that your DUI defense attorney is aware of these problems which may prevent the introduction of your blood test, or provide you with a viable defense in your case.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI”

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